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Knoxville Choral Society names Dr. John Orr as Artistic Director

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Dr. John Orr -- Image courtesy of KCS

KNOXVILLE – The Board of Directors of the Knoxville Choral Society (KCS) have appointed Dr. John Orr as the artistic director. His duties will become effective June 21, 2018. Dr. Orr’s selection follows an extensive search conducted on behalf of the Board of Directors.

“We are excited to have John Orr take the reins of the Knoxville Choral Society. John’s musicianship, dedication to choral music, and his ability to draw the best from us as a conductor is a winning combination,” said Richard Davis, President of the KCS.

Dr. Orr has been heavily involved in community music making throughout is his career. John has directed a school of fine arts, conducted a home-school youth choir, created fine arts concert series at a number of locations and served as the assistant director for the Tuscaloosa Community Singers. He is currently the pastor of worship and music at the Community Church in Tellico Village. John is by no means a newcomer to the Knoxville Choral Society having been a member since 2010. Further, in 2013 John was appointed conductor of the Knoxville Chamber Chorale and Assistant Director of the KCS.

Dr. Orr believes that choral music should be promoted as a lifelong endeavor. “Choral music is one of the rare activities that lets us come together as a community, with nothing but our hearts and our bodies to create art, beauty and inspiration.” John believes the Knoxville Choral Society represents the heart of the Knoxville music community. “It is truly a celebration of the best things about this city when we all come together to make music. Everybody brings something to the group that makes us better, as musicians and as people.” When asked about his vision for the choral society he stated, “I want to see the Knoxville Choral Society grow into an umbrella organization that has multiple ensembles for different age groups and choral music interests.” He continued, “We need to develop mechanisms to consistently support choral and vocal music in our schools, area colleges and universities. We will work for greater diversity among our singers and to create opportunities for young conductors, vocalists, and instrumentalists to perform and work in a real-world arts organization.”

John is a graduate of William Jewell College where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Theory, Composition and Church Music. He also holds a Master of Music from Southern Seminary and the Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Alabama. He has studied choral conducting with Dr. Arnold Epley, Dr. John Dickson, Dr. Sandra Willetts and Dr. John Ratledge.

Published April 30, 2018

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